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he might discover from her something about the meaning of
the nameless impulse that had first prompted him to blurt
out his refusal to the Senator. The conviction of weakness and
shame which he had experienced after the men left was still
fresh to him, and she might banish it for good, or, failing
that, give him some hint whereby he could realize and
master his own nature.

" Senator Tolliver," he began, " and Mr. Christian and Mr.
Sills came by this afternoon. They came to tell me I'm on
the Association board."

He watched the look of pleasure form on her face.w" Why,
Perse," she exclaimed, "that's wonderful!"

When, ordinarily, some word or action of his could provoke
that look on her face, he experienced his own greatest satis-
faction. If he brought her some gift from town, or propped
up a vine for her that she would forget in less than half an
hour, or unexpectedly leaned over to kiss her, that look
would come to her face, as now, the lips very slightly parted
and the blue eyes a little wider than usual and shining.

But the look was fading from her face.

"Why, Perse," she said, "what's the matter? Did any-
thing else happen, something bad?"

" Nothing's the matter."

"Aren't you glad?"

" Yes," he answered, thinking, yes, he supposed he was.

"But you looked at me so funny."

" Did I?" he asked, having intended his question to be light
and jocular, but catching in his own tone a hint of some-
thing else, a hardness. He corrected his inflection, repeating,
"Did I?"

" I thought something might be the matter."

"Nothing is," he said. And nothing was, perhaps. At
least, nothing that he had been able to put into words. He
had stood staring at her while the pleasure showed on her
face, and had tried to find a way to tell her what had hap-
pened to him that afternoon. There was no way. She had
been pleased, pleased for him, of course; but that fact in itself